This year was different than most, but still full of automotive stories.
In a year where a global pandemic put the industry on pause, the automotive world bounced back in a major way by the end of 2020. Having covered the best automotive trends of 2020, we've put together a list of our ten most popular stories from the past 12 months covering trucks, muscle cars, sports cars, and electric cars, with a surprise entrant in the final spot.
April Fools' Day stories are our favorite to write during the year, and our readers clearly agree. This year's top story was our joke about the upcoming Dodge Charger SRT Ghoul. By taking a 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and shoving in the 1,000 horsepower Hellephant V8, it would create the ultimate muscle car. We had to think of a name close to Hellcat and Demon, so Ghoul was an obvious choice.
In another April Fool's Day prank, we let our readers know that a new 3JZ engine would sit under the hood of the 2021 Toyota GR Supra. Unlike the 2JZ, we predicted that the 3JZ would be a twin-turbocharged V8 producing well over 1,000 hp. The diehard Toyota fans likely loved this news, but unfortunately, the A90 Supra will stick with its BMW-sourced inline-six.
The Bronco was easily one of the most anticipated reveals of 2020, and now all eyes turn to Ford's competitors to see if they will respond. The 2021 Chevrolet Blazer has been an enormous success for General Motors, but it's a far cry from the rugged off-roader it used to be. According to reports, GM will evaluate its off-road offerings and expand beyond the current Colorado ZR2 and ZR2 Bison. This could eventually result in more off-road-focused models from Chevy and GMC, including a rival for the Bronco and the Ram TRX.
Few vehicles polarized the internet like the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck. Some admired its futuristic, video game styling, while others mocked it for looking too much like a movie concept. This story actually began as an April Fool's joke, but later in the year, turned into reality. No one, with the possible exception of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, knows exactly what the production Cybertruck will look like, so we joked that it needed a complete redesign.
Musk later confirmed that a more road-legal version would be shown off soon. Those insane creases and lack of side mirrors could never meet crash and safety regulations, so we have no doubts that the Cybertruck will change drastically before it goes on sale.
The Chevrolet Corvette was easily one of the best launches in 2020, but deliveries didn't go smoothly for some owners. The C8 Vette was rife with quality issues, including crooked stitching on the dashboard. Chevy quickly rebounded from these initial setbacks, and it seems like the reports of poor quality have slowed down with the 2021 models arriving. With the quality issues resolved, the new Vette easily has the best interior that Chevy has ever produced.
Fans of the Dodge Charger and Challenger are well aware that the cars come with plastic splitter guards to protect them during shipping. For some reason, owners decide to leave the guards installed after they take delivery because they like how they look. The splitter guards used to be yellow, but Dodge changed the color to pink to deter customers from keeping them on. Dodge's designers have even urged customers to remove them, as leaving them on will damage the paint underneath. We've definitely seen fewer Chargers and Challengers wearing them this year.
Americans love trucks, and Americans love motorcycles, so it's no wonder that news of a new Harley-Davidson truck stirred up excitement. Based on a GMC Sierra 1500, the truck comes from an outfitter called the Tuscany Motor Company. It was intriguing to see Tuscany go for a GMC because the original Harley-Davidson truck was based on an F-150. Later in the year, the company also announced Harley-Davidson versions of the F-150 and the larger F-250 Super Duty.
The lead-up to the Ford Bronco's reveal was an epic saga. There were tons of leaks, including our most popular story showing off the SUV's new roof racks. Off-road enthusiasts couldn't wait until Ford officially debuted the new Bronco, so every rumor and every spy shot was analyzed a million ways. Now that the Bronco has been revealed, the news cycle will shift to predicting new performance variants like the upcoming Warthog model.
After more than a decade on the market, the Nissan 370Z has reached the point where it needs to retire. At long last, Nissan finally showed off the 370's replacement, at least in prototype form. The Nissan Z Proto, rumored to be called the 400Z when it reaches production, stirred up a ton of interest from enthusiasts. We took a deep dive into the 400Z, looking at the revised chassis, new twin-turbocharged engine, and improved styling. Expected to arrive late in 2021, this is a sports car to get excited about.
As the founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world, many people care about what car Bill Gates drives. In an interview with YouTuber Marques Brownlee, Gates revealed that he recently purchased a Porsche Taycan. This is Gates' first electric car, and he mentioned choosing it over a Tesla. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk proceeded to snap back at Gates, saying that his conversations with him were "underwhelming," and stirring up some internet drama in the process.
Building a TRD version of the Camry may seem like a baffling move to some, but it's worked out extremely well for Toyota. Demand for the Camry TRD was so high in 2020, customers were forced to shop on third party websites to find one. Toyota says the TRD sells "at least twice as fast as other Camry grades," making it tricky for dealers to keep them in stock. The TRD is the least expensive way to get a Camry with a V6 engine, so it makes sense why buyers flock to it.